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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

Discerning the Commands

Psalm 119:121-128

Verses 125-126 I am Your servant; give me discernment that I may understand Your statutes. It is time for You to act, Lord; Your law is being broken.

Though the psalmist has seen the need to surrender he hasn’t given up pleading for God to keep His word and rule according to His law.

One of the first things we need to remember about submission is that we still may not understand what He is doing and still desire for Him to act. Surrendering our will doesn’t make the pain of the situation go away and stop causing us stress. What it does is place us in a better position to accept what He is doing even if we can’t see the end.

The first thing that the psalmist requests after he comes to the brink of surrender is that God help him by giving him understanding of the law. He may think that the reason he is not finding the answer he wants is because he doesn’t understand the law and judgment the way he thought he did. Instead of writing God off as someone that doesn’t keep His promises, he sees that it must be his vision that is askew.

This man of song asks for discernment, which though very important to the Christian walk is something that few ever ask for, especially in regards to the law. We often think of discernment when it comes to weighing out a person’s character and maybe when making business deals but we probably don’t ask for discernment about the law very often.

Maybe it seems like a strange thing to ask about God’s commands but unless we understand them properly we are likely to expect God to act due to our interpretation of the law instead of what He meant when He gave it. For example Jesus knew that when God gave the commandment that we shouldn’t murder, it meant more than just taking someone’s life. Jesus said that it also meant if we were angry with someone we were in danger of breaking that law (Matthew 5:21-26). It isn’t the anger that is a sin, as we know from Paul’s writing (Ephesians 4:26-27) sinning begins when we let it control the thoughts of our hearts and minds towards that person and we act on it. This is the kind of discernment we need to have regarding the law. Asking the Holy Spirit to give us the truth about the law and listening to His teaching is the best way to gain it.

Making It Personal

Have you ever prayed for discernment in knowing the truth behind the law? How could having discernment of the commands help you obey them? Do you want to know the truth of the law?

Making It Personal Kids

Why is it good to know what Jesus meant by His commands? Would knowing what He means by them help you obey them? Which one do you want to ask Him to help you understand?

Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit to help us discern the way of Your law. Please give us discernment so that we can obey wholeheartedly. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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